What Lead Should I Use? Pt 2 – When to use small leads

There are certain situations were we have to change our tactics to suit a specific angling needs. Here I will out line what leads I use and how I go about getting the best results if I find a shoal of feeding carp in a shallow marginal bay, specifically when to use small leads of less than one ounce. You would be surprised how often this happens on French lakes, even some of the larger lakes.

If you missed Part 1 – Leading and Marker Leads you can read it here

In April 2012 I was on a field testing trip for Angling Lines at Blue Lake in Northern France. It was a few days into the session when I came across a large shoal of fish gathering in one corner of the lake. I fired out single boilies with my catapult into the shoal to gather what reaction I would get. I got a perfect reaction with most of the shoal  not moving or spooking and the odd fish dropping down onto my boilies.

Selection of small swivel leads

Selection of small swivel leads

Within the next half an hour I was ready for my first cast into the corner. I used half ounce pear shaped leads and cast 3 rods in or around the out skirts of the carp shoal. More individual boilies were fired out and the carp remained calm and appeared to be dropping down for the occasional feed. I had an almost immediate reaction with my first run coming after about 10 minutes. I quickly drew the carp away from the shoal and played it in out in open water and then into the net. Out went more individual boilies spread among the shoal,  again with a small lead and hook bait dropped only 40 yards out.

Over the next 24 hours I accounted for 17 carp using this tactic before the shoal moved on. Light leads was the answer, if I had used anything else I would have spooked them from the start and lost the carp.

One of the many carp that caught from Blue Lake using half ounce leads

One of the many carp that caught from Blue Lake using half ounce leads

On another occasion in October of 2011 I was on Boux. I was about 4 days into a session when a shoal of feeding fish moved into a bay to my right. My first reaction again was to fire out individual boilies into and around the shoaled fish to see their reaction. Once satisfied that the carp were comfortable with the odd splash off a boilie here and there, out went an 1/2 ounce lead with a small PVA bags.

The carp then began to feed heavily as my very digestible Quality Baits HG42 was getting devoured quickly. I began to feed the carp quite heavily and the runs began. Over a 48 hour period  this method accounted for over 20 carp to 51lb. I used around 15 kilo of 18mil HG42, which were fired out either with a throwing stick or catapult, spread over an area the size of a tennis court. Again if I had used bigger leads I would have spooked them and lost the shoal. Your hooks have to be ultra sharp using this method, as you are not relying on the lead to set the hook home. The takes are usually violent with screaming runs.

Boux Carp. Half ounce leads did the business.

A Boux carp – half ounce leads did the business

This method does not work all the time but I always have a selection of light leads at hand just in case the situation arises.
Paul Cooper

Below are a couple of videos that were made at Blue lake and Boux;



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